Parade staple of homecoming

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

The starting point for the 2007 Eastern New Mexico University homecoming parade was a flurry of activity Saturday morning as coordinator Brooke Parker lined up the floats.

“This is actually my first homecoming parade to organize,” said Parker, who is also the secretary for alumni affairs at ENMU.

A lot of work goes into coordinating the parade, Parker said. She had help from Alumni Affairs Coordinator Janice Cowen and her husband, Gayland, Nancy Gentry and the Portales Rotary Club.

“Overall, homecoming is a lot of work and stressful, but when everybody comes together, it’s rewarding,” Parker said.

Preparation begins well in advance of the parade, with letters sent to ENMU and city organizations with information about the parade, Parker said. Letters are also sent to community businesses seeking donations, she said.

Once the applications are received, Parker begins putting them in order to see what types of floats are being entered. The first 10 floats from the ENMU campus receive $100, Parker said.

“It’s just a neat way to get involved with the community and working with everybody,” Parker said.

Cattle Capital Cowbelle president Darlene Davis managed to make Saturday’s parade despite having vehicle troubles.

A friend was able to give Davis and her horse a ride to the event.

“We all help each other do everything,” Davis said.

Comprised of ranch and city women, the 11-member group travels to events in the area in an effort to promote the beef industry.

The group was decked out Saturday in colors in honor of ENMU’s homecoming. Their horses sported mums in green and white on their breastcollars, while the ladies wore green bandanas and vests of silver and green.

Davis remembers watching horses in parades when she was a child and thinking that was something she wanted to do. She said she has been riding in parades for the past eight years.

“I really fairly enjoy it. I love the kids and I love the people,” Davis said.